AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- After the Atlantic Coast Conferences athletic directors filed out of their conference room Thursday to end their spring meetings, they made no major announcements and shared the results of no votes, but that didn't mean the week wasn't a success.
ACC commissioner John Swofford said, despite the lack of tangible results from these meetings, the conference brass made significant progress in determining everything from future bowl lineups to the long-term site of the men's conference basketball tournament.
"There's just a lot of positives going on throughout the entire meetings, and I think a lot of excitement from this group looking ahead in terms of what the possibilities are," Swofford said. "So, that's all very, very positive. I think that's the biggest takeaway from the meeting, actually."
With positives ruling these meetings, there was a sharp contrast to the ones last spring that were dominated by the specter of conference realignment.
The most pressing item was to figure out the ACC's bowl lineup for 2014 and beyond. Swofford said he expects to have a lineup set in a matter of "weeks," and that it will probably be a nine- or 10-game slate of bowl tie-ins with some flexibility to move teams around.
"You want to protect any bowl-eligible teams that you have if you can," Swofford said. "As really a 15-member league in terms of the bowls, we don't have any real history yet of what that right number is, in terms of the sweet spot of the number."
The bowl schedule likely will have some rotating slots to avoid regular-season rematches or prevent teams from going to the same bowl several years in a row. Pitt, for example, has traveled to Birmingham, Ala., each of the past three postseasons.
"I don't know that it'll be to the degree that some of us thought it might be six months ago, but I think there will be some flex in that," Swofford said. "I think that'll be positive, both in terms of where we're going and in terms of some flexibility in the selection process, so that you've got a little more ability to put together the most attractive matchups."
Along with setting bowl matchups, the athletic directors tried to figure out a system for distributing bowl payouts. This went hand-in-hand with their desire to solve the problem Florida State faced this year, when it lost money on its ACC championship game appearance.
There was no final decision reached, but Swofford indicated that the new model would look different than the current one in which the league pools bowl payouts and distributes them evenly to all teams after expenses.
"Just philosophically, looking forward, a team, particularly in the championship game, shouldn't be put in a position where they lose money financially," Swofford said. "And the postseason, we might look at our championship game right in sync with our other postseason games from a financial standpoint because I think we're going to be in very good shape there with our bowl games."
While football-related topics dominated the agenda, the hottest item of the week might have been the rumblings that the league could consider moving its men's basketball tournament to Madison Square Garden.
Swofford confirmed that the league "interested" in "a couple" of New York venues, likely Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The ACC has two years left in its contract with Greensboro Coliseum, and Swofford did not provide a timetable for scheduling tournament beyond 2015.
"I think our people are open-minded to a lot of things, and appropriately so," Swofford said. "But until we really have our arms around in a specific way what some of the opportunities might be, it's a little hard to tell."
Swofford also made it clear that the he and the league are intrigued by the vast array of opportunities the conference now has thanks to its grant of media rights deal, which could eventually lead to an ACC TV network.
Sam Werner: email@example.com and Twitter @SWernerPG.